Road manners, race looks: In-depth Aprilia RS660 spec and performance revealed

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Aprilia have announced full details of their eagerly anticipated new £10,150 RS660, which will be available in dealers in November. 

It’s unmistakably sporty with its RSV4-like styling, sculpted-in wings, racy electronics and tasty chassis parts, but the good news for road riders is it promises to be easier to live with than a race replica, thanks to its friendlier ergonomics, comfier seat and useable power.

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Powered by a liquid-cooled 659cc parallel twin cylinder engine with a 270° crank, it’s essentially the front half of the V4 RSV4 1100 and uses the same 81mm bore and a 63.9mm stroke. It produces a class leading 99bhp, has 49ftlb of torque and weighs just 183kg ready to go, so it won’t be short of acceleration.

It should also handle sweetly thanks to an aluminium twin spar chassis, fully adjustable 41mm Kayaba forks, Brembos brakes and the chassis knowledge that brought you the RSV4 1100 Factory and Tuono V4 1100 Factory – two of the finest handling machines money can buy.

It comes with a full armoury of electronic rider aids including lean sensitive traction, wheelie control and engine braking control, and up/down quickshifter, five riding modes, cruise control and a colour dash. It also has triple LED headlights with daytime running lights, self-cancelling indicators and Pirelli Rosso Corsa II tyres.

Michael Neeves on the Aprilia RS660

Chief Road Tester Michael Neeves has just arrived at its world launch in Italy and will be riding it tomorrow, but in the meantime has tried it for size. He said: "Aprilia look to be pitching the RS660 some way between a supersport 600 and something more road-biased, like a CBR650R. Sounds like the perfect recipe to me.

"The riding position its sporty, but nowhere near as extreme as the RSV4, or even a Blade, or ZX-10R. You sit quite ‘in’ the bike with your knees quite close together sitting beneath the wings of the sculpted fuel tank.

"Bars are splayed wide like a modern superbike, but they’re not too low and aren’t a big stretch away. Legs aren’t too squashed either, which is good news for a six-footer like me.

"It’s nicely finished and if you love electronics the RS660 is full of them. Aprilia don’t build a bad bike right now, so it’s bound to be a cracker. I can’t wait to ride it."

Aprilia RS660 on the track

Aprilia RS660 on the track

The RS660 is designed to be a road bike, but it’s definitely got one eye gazing longingly at the racetrack. Aprilia have focused on keeping everything as light as possible. The compact and lightweight parallel-twin engine forms a stressed member in the forged aluminium frame, and also acts as the swingarm mount, for example. You also get a lightweight lithium battery.

All of this weight-saving results in a finished bike weighing just 183kg at the kerb. That’s 24kg lighter than a Honda CBR650R and 7kg lighter than a Yamaha R6.

The Aprilia’s track intentions can also be seen in the electronics package. It has a total of five riding modes, three for the road (Commute, Dynamic and Individual) and two for the track (Challenge and Time Attack). Not only that, but the up and down quickshifter software allows you to invert the gearbox to a race shift pattern without having to replace any components.

Aprilia RS660 front left quarter

And the electrickery doesn’t ends there, Aprilia have thrown everything including the kitchen sink at the bike. As well as adjustable traction control and cruise control, you also get adjustable wheelie control, adjustable engine braking and adjustable engine mapping. All this, plus the lean-sensitive ABS is controlled through a six-axis IMU.

So despite being soft enough to ride comfortably on the road, the RS660 will likely be a serious contender on the racetrack, too.

Keep an eye out for the full Aprilia RS660 review coming soon on MCN. 

Aprilia confirm pricing of middleweight RS660

First published on 9 October, 2020 by Dan Sutherland

Aprilia have confirmed their eagerly-anticipated RS660 middleweight sportsbike will cost £10,150.

With production set to begin this month, fresh images of the 100hp machine appeared in mid-September, after factory MotoGP riders Aleix Espargarό and Bradley Smith, plus test rider Lorenzo Savadori, tested the bike at Misano between back-to-back racing weekends.

Although the Aprilia-contracted racers were unsurprisingly complimentary about the parallel twin, the accompanying photographs from their time on circuit provided a brief look at the finished machine, ahead of its official launch.

Speaking about the bike, Bradley Smith said: "After the first two corners, you have total confidence. It's incredible how you can push hard straight away."

MotoGP riders head to Misano on the Aprilia RS660

This was added to by Aleix Espargarό, who claimed: "It's extremely stable and the engine really pushes hard. I really liked the quick shift feature."

First revealed at Eicma 2019, the RSV4-aping twin stole the headlines as a modern day equivalent of the GP-inspired RS250 two-stroke of the early 1990s to mid noughties - taking a step away from full-fat litre sportsbikes, to provide something potentially more manageable and engaging to road riders and less experienced pilots.

Weighing a claimed 169kg, the 660’s parallel-twin engine is derived from the front bank of cylinders on the 1078cc RSV4 1100 Factory superbike. Used as a stress member, it’s paired with an aluminium twin spar frame, before being dressed in a set of V4-inspired fairings.  

Cornering at Misano on the Aprilia RS660

Producing a claimed 100hp (98.6bhp), Aprilia have also equipped the bike with a ride-by-wire throttle and a six-axis IMU - allowing for suite of electronic aids for track and road riding; including five riding modes and cornering ABS. Expect a TFT dash up front, too. A 95hp (93.7bhp) version will also be available - restrictable for A2 riders and featuring the same spec.

Although almost ready for production, Aprilia remain tight-lipped on the price. Despite some UK dealers are already claiming £9699, when asked the Italian firm said this was false and a figure yet to be decided.

Fully loaded: A2-ready Aprilia RS660 will have same high spec as standard bike

First published on 13 February, 2020 by Ben Clarke

A front view of the Aprilia RS660

Aprilia have confirmed that their incoming RS660 will be available in an A2 licence compliant version. The claimed 95bhp iteration will be electronically restricted via the ECU and will still feature all the bells and whistles of the full fat bike.

That means owners will get a TFT dash, KYB suspension, cruise control, two-way quickshifter, five rider modes and traction and wheelie control courtesy of a six-axis IMU.

A2 licence holders can ride a bike up to around 47bhp or restrict a bike with around 94bhp. Since the standard version of the Aprilia is going to put out 100bhp, it wouldn’t qualify.

The restrictable RS660 will face competition from bikes like the Honda CBR650R or Kawasaki Ninja 650 neither of which match the impressive spec of the Aprilia.

Aprilia say the bike will be available at the same time as the standard RS660 towards the end of 2020, we're still waiting on a confirmation of price.

At long last! Aprilia's RS660 to make May debut at Mugello

First published 31 January 2020 by Dan Sutherland

The much-anticipated Aprilia RS660 middleweight sportsbike will be seen in action for the first time at Mugello race circuit in May.

The parallel-twin pocket rocket, which was first unveiled to the public at the Eicma tradeshow, in Milan, last year, will appear at the iconic Italian track on Saturday, May 9 as part of the free-to-attend Aprilia Festival.

Now in its second year, event goers will be able to get up close with the new bike, as well as hear it running. There is also the potential for a number of demo laps ridden by either the current crop of Aprilia MotoGP stars, or a famous racer from Aprilia’s past; such as former 250GP and World Superbike champion, Max Biaggi.

Also on show: Aprilia RS250SP

Aprilia RS250SP side-on view

Alongside the new RS660, fans will also get the chance to witness the inaugural outing of the new RS250SP - a lightweight race bike developed in conjunction with Aprilia Racing and Ohvale to help nurture the next generation of Italian racing talent.

Featuring components from Brembo, Öhlins, SC Project and Marchesini, the new machine weighs 35kg less than a road-going four-stroke Aprilia RS125. It will compete in a new one-make series called the Italian FMI Aprilia Sport Production Championship.

MCN first caught a first proper glimpse of the RS660 in early June 2019. Having first appeared as a concept at Eicma the previous year, new patent images appeared to reveal a lower-capacity fully-faired sportster, based on the firm’s V4-powered RSV4 superbike. There were then a number of teaser trailers, before the cover was lifted off the finished article last November.

Powered by an eight-valve, parallel-twin engine, based on the front cylinder bank of the 1078cc V4 from the RSV4 1100, the 660 uses a 270˚ firing interval for V-twin-like sound and feel, like Yamaha’s MT-07, and makes 100bhp. 

MCN will be amongst the first in the world to sample the new machine, so keep an eye out for a full Aprilia RS660 review in the coming months.

Aprilia RS660 rivals

Producing 100bhp from its two-cylinder engine, the Aprilia sits in a sort of sportsbike no man's land - producing too much grunt to be A2 licence compliant and not enough punch to be considered a true supersport screamer. That means rivals are few and far between, with Honda's four-cylinder CBR650R posing the biggest threat.

Producing a claimed 94bhp and taking styling cues from the now outgoing CBR1000RR Fireblade, like the Aprilia it offers a premium design with usable power and ergonomics. Which one will be top dog remains to be seen...

Aprilia RS660 is a twin treat based on the V4 1100

First published 5 November 2019 by Mike Armitage

The Aprilia RS660

The 2020 Aprilia RS660 is the first of a new family of middleweights. These will be based on a fresh parallel-twin engine, and this is the first bike…

Though clearly a sportsbike and designed with performance in mind, this isn’t a super-serious track tool like the RSV4. Instead, the RS660 is designed to ‘rediscover the pleasure and joy of everyday riding’ and be as much fun on the road as it will be on the occasional trackday.

Its eight-valve, parallel-twin engine is based on the front cylinder bank of the 1078cc V4 from the RSV4 1100. It uses a 270˚ firing interval for V-twin-like sound and feel, like Yamaha’s MT-07, and makes 100bhp. The engine is a load-bearing part of the chassis and has the asymmetric aluminium swingarm hanging from its cases – the aluminium frame has no pivot plates. Forks are adjustable 41mm KYB, and the rear shock has a progressive action despite no linkage. Aprilia claim 169kg dry (11 less than an RSV4 RR).

So far, so sporty. However, Aprilia stress that the RS is a road bike. There’s plenty of steering lock, the seat is described as ‘spacious’, and, unlike the prototype shown this time last year, the clip-on ’bars are mounted above the top yoke. Imagine a riding position closer to Honda’s usable CBR650R than Yamaha’s focused R6.

Aprilia produced the first bike with full ride-by-wire control (2007’s Shiver) and aren’t shy when it comes to electronics. So, the RS660 features a six-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU) and all the RSV4’s fancy bits, including traction and wheelie control, cruise, two-way quickshifter, five riding modes and cornering ABS.

There’s a colour TFT dash with Road and Track display options, and Aprilia’s MIA interface lets it connect to your phone. With a headset you can take calls and use the dash to display direction info from your phone’s navigation.

High-tech features continue with its LED headlights, surrounded by funky daytime running lights that also contain the indicators. The RS has cornering lights, too. Colours are stealthy black or a purple and red scheme inspired by the 1994 RS250 Reggiani Replica.

Aprilia are tight-lipped on price and availability but with its spec the RS660 won’t be cheap – expect at least £12,000. They’ve come clean about another model that’ll use this new twin-cylinder platform, though, by showing the Tuono 660 concept. Given they claim the mechanics are ‘very versatile, adapting well to different types of bike,’ maybe it’ll be joined by a Caponord 660 in 2021 as well.

Tell me about Aprilia’s new parallel-twin 660 motor

Aprilia hadn’t revealed the 660’s engine geometry as we went to press, though one line in the info does say ‘660cc’.

The RSV4 1100 engine it’s based on has an 81 x 52.3mm bore x stroke, making a 539cc twin. So, despite saying it uses V4 dimensions they must have altered bore, stroke, or both.

For 660cc, stroke needs to increase by 11.7mm to 64mm. That’s quite a leap but would make sense of Aprilia’s claim of ‘high torque value’. Parts like the cylinder head could be shared, too.

Stretching displacement with larger pistons is unlikely. The 1100 engine’s 81mm pistons are already sizeable. They’d need to be 89.65mm for 660cc, making the RS ridiculously oversquare with a bore/stroke ratio even greater than Ducati’s loopy V4 R. Hardly likely on a bike for ‘the joy of riding everyday’. Best guess? They’ve altered bore and stroke to engineer the characteristics they want.

Interesting aside: using the bore and stroke from the 999.6cc RSV4 RR engine would make a 499.8cc parallel twin. Maybe we’ll see some A2-legal Aprilia 500s as well…

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Hear the Aprilia RS660 in new teaser video

First reported 31/10/19

Aprilia have released a teaser video for their upcoming RS660 sportsbike and it could very easily be confused with an advert for expensive perfume.

As has become the norm in this kind of video, we don't see very much of the actual motorbike, Aprilia opting instead for dramatic images of a shirtless Andrea Iannone, a stormy sky and a big cat.

We do get our first opportunity to hear the new 660cc 'half-a-V4' engine running and it uses a smooth firing interval for its parallel-twin cylinders.

The video follows a silhouette image of the bike released by the Italian firm earlier this week, which announced that the bike will be revealed at Eicma in November.

First shown at last year’s Milan show as a concept and powered by a parallel-twin engine, this latest image appears to reveal at least some of the finished production machine, complete with RSV4-inspired styling, LED headlights and a single seat unit.

Although details are scarce, by tweaking the image's exposure, it is also possible to see the bike’s jagged swingarm, and racey set-back footpegs, suggesting the new machine will be more of a focussed sportsbike than mini-twin commuter.

Tweaking the exposure reveals more information about the new bike

This is further compounded by the clip-on handlebars, which appear to be swept downwards like a traditional sportsbike, rather than upright like other machines in the class including Kawasaki’s recently-revised Ninja 650.

Also visible is a set of upside down forks, alongside what appears to be a set of radially-mounted brake calipers. 

What's more, it's possible the parallel-twin platform could span an entire new range of middleweight Aprilia's, with the teaser caption reading: 'RS 660: a new era begins.'

MCN will bring you more information on the new machine as it becomes available.

Aprilia RS660 patent images reveal supersport stunner

First published: 10.06.2019

A potential side view of the incoming Aprilia RS660

Styling patents have emerged that show Aprilia's finished RS660 for the first time. Initially unveiled as a concept at Eicma last year, the finished bike is a very faithful version of the radical machine we saw last time.

Powered by a 660cc parallel twin, that’s effectively the front bank of cylinders off the V4 powerhouse in the RSV4 1100 Factory, Aprilia are hoping this machine can help revitalise supersports bikes for a new generation of riders.

Aprilia claim they opted for a twin layout for its efficiency and compact nature, alongside the freedom that it left the designers to create a lightweight frame that uses the engine as a stressed member. The clever rear shock has remained, which is mounted between the swingarm and frame without a linkage to help shed a few extras pounds.

Despite its sporting credentials, the Italian firm also claim that the RS660 gives a comfortable riding experience, thanks to a large seat and sensibly-placed foot pegs, as well as handlebars placed above the top yoke to remove excess weight from your wrists.

Although we can’t see the specs of the finished unit the parts all look like the latest crop of sports bikes, so it ought to be a fine machine albeit perhaps with a hefty pricetag. With only the Kawasaki Ninja 650 as an obvious competitor, it could do rather well. We’re expecting Aprilia to unveil the finished bike at the EICMA show in November.

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A frontal view of the Aprilia RS660 design patent

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Ben Clarke

By Ben Clarke

Staff Writer, hick for life, two cylinders max